A significant moment of your life is here! You've bought a house, and you want to solve the home security problem with a camera system. You start your research on the internet and look for security cameras to mount on your house facade or in the interior.
And then you come across a shortcut you may not be familiar with - ONVIF. What does it mean, and how important is it when choosing a home security system?
Before getting to know more about ONVIF, let's go back to history.
A few decades ago, the first IP camera manufacturers started to appear. Each manufacturer built the functionality of the camera on its unique communication standard. As the years went by, other camera manufacturers who built the functionality of their devices on their own communication standards, appeared on the market. And suddenly, there was a big problem:
How do we ensure that different home security devices will be compatible?
To emphasize how important question this is, let's simplify what a standard camera system can consist of:
As you can see, we have several types of elements that serve different purposes. These elements may come from different manufacturers, which is why they may not be compatible. And because of the incompatibility, it is not possible to benefit from all features of the home security camera system.
In 2008, Axis Communications, Bosh Security Systems, and Sony established the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF). And what was their mission? Quite a challenging one - establishing and further developing universal communication standards between home security devices of different brands.
Any camera system manufacturer can apply for membership in the organization. Membership is divided into three groups (Full member, Contributing member, and User member), with each group having clearly defined rules. Thus a Full member can, for example, influence the development of the standard, while a User member can only use the ONVIF standard for his camera system.
As the number of members continues to grow, it is clear that this forum is definitely on the right track.
What is the main benefit of membership? Camera manufacturers do not need to develop their own communication standard that enables all home security system management. Still, they can use the already established ONVIF standard, which is now used by more than 450 camera manufacturers worldwide.
The ONVIF standard also brings significant benefits to the user:
So what advice do we have for you? If you are planning to purchase a camera system that will consist of several different types of cameras, always look for a device built on the ONVIF standard. This will ensure seamless connectivity and easy setup.
How do you know which devices support the ONVIF standard? Look for the official ONVIF label on the device packaging - only then you will be sure that all these devices will work together. If you don't already have the device packaging, check the manual and search for technical specifications.
If you are not sure, whether your device is ONVIF conformant, you can check it on the ONVIF official website.
Regarding the number of devices, you have plenty of them to choose from! Nowadays, more than 15,000 products are ONVIF compatible. As you can see, camera system manufacturers are cheering for the ONVIF standard. Let's look forward to what the development of the ONVIF standard will bring us in the upcoming years.
Our home security app ZoomOn (iOS version) also supports the ONVIF standard. Install the app and add your existing ONVIF cameras (the app will find available ONVIF cameras, or you can add cameras manually).
What's more, the ZoomOn app is also compatible with HomeKit cameras. Likewise, you can also add your mobile phones to make a simple security camera. It's entirely up to you how you set up your home security system!
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The third and final part of our educational project about home security vocabulary is here! If we have forgotten any terms, feel free to find...